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Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 1 of 34

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO
INS MARA JEL IRAVEDRA,

*
*
Plaintiff,
*
*
v.
*
*
MUNICIPALITY OF GUAYNABO; and *
HCTOR ONEILL-ROSA,
*
*
Defendants.
*
*******************************

CIVIL NO.
RE: CIVIL RIGHTS
PLAINTIFF DEMANDS
TRIAL BY JURY

COMPLAINT
TO THE HONORABLE COURT:
NOW
comes

INTO

the

THIS

COURT,

Plaintiff

and

through

the

respectfully

undersigned
states,

counsel,

alleges

and

(Jel

or

requests, as follows:
I.
1.1

Plaintiff

NATURE OF ACTION

Ins

Mara

Jel-Iravedra

Plaintiff) brings this action, pursuant to Title VII of the


Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) against her former
employer, the Municipality of Guaynabo (The Municipality or
Defendant), and Hctor ONeill-Rosa (ONeill-Rosa).

her

1.2

Jel claims herein under that ONeill-Rosa subjected

to

unconsented
invitations

pattern
physical
to

have

of

sexual

contacts,
sexual

harassment
and

intercourse

that

included

unwelcomed

explicit

and

remarks,

sexual

which was sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the


conditions of her employment and create an abusive and hostile
work environment.

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 2 of 34

1.3

Plaintiff

also

claims

herein

below

that

The

Municipality knew about ONeill-Rosas unlawful conduct and


failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action,
thereby emboldening the harasser to continue his misconduct
and

thus,

Defendant

can

be

deemed

to

have

adopted

the

offending conduct and its results, quite as if they had been


authorized affirmatively as the employers policy. Instead of
taking prompt remedial action, The Municipality engaged in a
pattern

of

retaliation

against

Jel

and,

finally,

constructively discharged her for having complained of sexual


harassment

to

the

Equal

Employment

Opportunity

Commission

(EEOC).
1.4

Jel

also

brings

this

complaint

against

The

Municipality for sexual harassment and retaliation under the


local

counterparts

of

Title

VII;

and,

against

both

The

Municipality and ONeill-Rosa for assault, battery, breach of


the

peace,

stalking,

threats,

defamation,

undue

intrusions

into her private life, character assassination and attacks to


her

professional

reputation,

in

violation

of

her

constitutional right to privacy and dignity.


1.5

Plaintiff demands trial by jury.


II.

JURISDICTION

2.1 This Honorable Court has subject matter jurisdiction


to allow this suit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331. This action
is authorized pursuant to Sections 706(f)(1) and (3) of Title
VII, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000c-(5)(f)(1) and (3).

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 3 of 34

2.2 This Honorable Court has personal jurisdiction over


this civil action because the employment practices and other
acts alleged to be unlawful were committed and the damages
were

suffered

by

Plaintiff

within

the

jurisdiction

of

the

United States District Court, District of Puerto Rico.


2.3

Pursuant

to

42

U.S.C.

1367(a),

this

Honorable

Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the pendent claims


raised herein by Plaintiff, pursuant to Law No. 17 of April
22, 1988 (29 L.P.R.A. 155 et. seq.; henceforth Act 17),
Law No. 100 of June 30, 1959 (29 L.P.R.A. 146 et. seq.,
henceforth Act 100), Law No. 69 of July 6, 1985 (29 L.P.R.A.
1321 et. seq.; henceforth Act 69), Articles 1801 and 1802
of the Puerto Rico Civil Code (31 L.P.R.A. 5141 and 5142;
henceforth General Tort Statute), since they are so related
to the aforestated federal claims that they all form part of
the

same

case

or

controversy

under

Article

III

of

the

Constitution of the United States of America.


2.4

On July 30, 2015, Plaintiff filed timely charges of

employment discrimination with the Anti-Discrimination Unit of


the EEOC. More than 180 have elapsed since the filing of the
charge in the case of reference on July 30, 2015, without the
EEOC having taken any action.
III. PARTIES TO THE ACTION
3.1

Jel is an adult female individual and a citizen of

the United States of America, who resides in the Commonwealth


of Puerto Rico.

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 4 of 34

3.2
of

The

At all times relevant herein, Jel was an employee


Municipality,

within

the

meaning

of

the

applicable

statutes, who fulfilled duties for Defendant, as Attorney III,


at its Legal Division located in City Hall in Guaynabo, Puerto
Rico (henceforth Legal Division).
3.3

At

qualified

all

to

times

carry

out

relevant
the

duties

herein,

Jel

assigned

to

was
her

duly

in

the

position of Attorney III; she performed her functions with a


high degree of excellence, diligence and interest in her work;
and,

she

expected

respectful

manner

to
at

be

the

treated

in

workplace

by

her

professional

and

supervisors

and

third party-invitees, without the fear of being the object of


discrimination or of being subjected to hostile and abusive
conduct

by

reason

of

her

sex

or

to

reprisals

for

having

complained of sexual harassment.


3.4

The

Municipality

is

city,

or

municipal

entity,

with the capacity to sue and/or be sued, located within the


Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
3.5

At all times relevant herein, The Municipality was

an employer within the meaning of the applicable statutes,


which engaged in an industry affecting commerce and employed
more than 500 regular employees.
3.6 ONeill-Rosa is an adult male and son of the Mayor of
The Municipality, Hon. Hctor ONeill-Garca (Mayor ONeillGarca), who performed functions and fulfilled duties for the
New

Progressive

Party

(NPP)

in

Guaynabo,

P.R.

As

such,

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 5 of 34

ONeill-Rosa

frequented

City

Hall,

including

the

Legal

Division where Plaintiff worked.


3.7

At

(Quintero)

all
was

times
an

relevant

employee

of

herein,
The

Ana

Quintero

Municipality,

acting

within the course and scope of such agency and employment, who
performed

managerial,

administrative

and/or

supervisory

functions, and fulfilled duties for Defendant in the Legal


Division.
IV. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
A.

The Sexual Harassment.


4.1 On July 15, 2012, Jel started working at the post of

Attorney II of the Legal Division of The Municipality, under


the supervision of the then Director, Hector Hoyos.
4.2 Since Jels arrival at the Legal Division in July of
2012, and up to July of 2015 -- that is, for an uninterrupted
period of three years -- ONeill-Rosa, with the full knowledge
and consent of The Municipality, continuously subjected her to
a pattern of unwanted sexual advances consisting of:
a) lustful glances and gestures;
b) comments of a sexual nature;
c) explicit invitations to have sex;
d) stalking and persecution;
e) at all hours, constant calls and text messages to
her cell phone; and,
f) lascivious physical contacts without her consent.
4.3

Also

during

said

three-year

period,

O'Neill-Rosa

repeatedly told Jel that if she did not submit to his sexual

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 6 of 34

advances, The Municipality was going to fire her because he


influenced

the

employment

decisions

of

his

father,

Mayor

ONeill-Garca.
4.4 During Jels first month of employment, ONeill-Rosa
went into her office uninvited. After greeting Jel, ONeillRosa hugged her tightly, grinding his genitals against her
body; he grabbed her buttocks and fondled her breasts; and he
kissed her on the mouth and neck. While doing this, ONeillRosa told Jel that he liked her a lot and that she had him
very horny. When Jel was able to break away from his embrace,
she told ONeill-Rosa to leave her alone, that she had no
interest in him and that she did not want him to affect her
work.

ONeill-Rosa

replied

that

it

was

just

the

opposite,

because all the female employees who were working there had to
be available to him and have his total trust; and that it
would be an advantage for her to submit to him and keep him
happy, because no one else was going to touch her there and he
was going to obtain many employment benefits for her.
4.5

After the occurrence of the incident narrated in the

foregoing paragraph, ONeill-Rosa -- two to five times per


month -- would walk into Jels office uninvited and repeat
the

same

behavior

or

engage

in

similar

sexually-charged

conduct.
4.6

On

one

of

these

occasions

that

ONeill-Rosa

unexpectedly appeared at Jels office, he greeted her with a


tight hug and fondled her body, introduced his hand inside her

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 7 of 34

underwear and touched her genitalia. She immediately reacted


by

suddenly

accidentally

pulling
causing

his
his

hand
hand

out

to

of

hurt

her

her

underwear,

genitals,

and

pushing him away from her.


4.7

During another unannounced visit to Jels office,

and while she was sitting at her desk, O'Neill-Rosa dropped


his pants, pulled out his penis, placed it close to her face
and told her to suck it. She immediately got up from her
chair,

left

her

office

and

locked

herself

in

the

womens

bathroom until he left the premises.


4.8

In many of ONeill-Rosas surprise visits to Jels

office, besides engaging in lascivious physical contacts with


her body and as part of his repertoire, he would utter profane
sexual comments to her, such as: Im going to fuck you,
I'll suck your pussy and youll get addicted, "that pussy is
mine,

Im

minutes

and

going

to

you

will

stick

it

see,

up

your

etc.

ass,

Further,

give

several

me

10

times,

O'Neill-Rosa told Jel that if she were not good to him, she
would not last long in her job.
4.9

Each time O'Neill-Rosa would walk into Jels office

uninvited,

she

either

standing

by

would

try

at

to

the

avoid

other

him
side

within
of

her

the
desk

office,
or

by

interposing filing records as a shield between his body and


hers;

and,

on

several

occasions,

she

even

pushing him back to separate him from her.

went

so

far

as

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 8 of 34

4.10 On two separate occasions, O'Neill-Rosa approached


Jel

in

the

parking

hugged

her

and

wanted

her

lot

grabbed

lot

and

of

her
that

the

Legal

buttocks,
he

was

Division,
telling

going

to

where

he

her

that

he

call

her

by

telephone to invite her out, so that she would answer his


telephone calls.
4.11

Several

times,

O'Neill-Rosa

appeared

at

other

Municipal Offices where Jel performed some of her duties and


also threw himself over her to kiss her and fondle her body.
4.12 On four or five different occasions, while Jel was
attending

other

working

arrangements

at

the

Electoral

Committee of Mayor ONeill-Garca, ONeill-Rosa approached and


hugged her, either facing her or from behind her, rubbing his
genitals

against

her

genitalia

or

buttocks,

while

uttering

that he liked her a lot, that he wanted her, and that she was
very hot. As Jel rejected him, ONeill-Rosa threatened her,
stating that she would not last long in the Municipality if
she did not go to bed with him.
4.13 Whenever Jel was in the presence of ONeill-Rosa,
he

would

lustfully

look

at

her

body

and/or

make

sexual

gestures with his tongue or bit his lips in a sexual manner.


4.14 O'Neill-Rosa

would

stalk

Jel

in

the

Municipal

Offices, in political activities, around her house and at the


beauty salon she sponsored.
4.15
messages

O'Neill-Rosa
to

Jels

constantly

cell

phone.

made

calls

Initially,

and

sent

unaware

of

text
his

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 9 of 34

motivation,

she

answered

some

of

his

calls;

but

he

kept

telling her that he wanted to see and be with her, and asked
her out. She immediately stopped answering his calls, but he
kept calling her. Indeed, he would not let her sleep at nights
and

early

in

the

mornings,

bothering

her

with

unwelcomed

multiple phone calls and text messages to her cell phone,


which she did not answer.
4.16 In the summer of 2014, ONeill Rosa invited Jel to
travel with him to New York for a NPP political activity and
to stay with him in his apartment, where they were going to
speak calmly of an employment vacancy announcements in which
she was engaged, because he wanted to see if she could earn
that position -- as he had other candidates in mind -- by
sexually pleasing him. Jel explicitly rejected his invitation
and did not even attend the trip to New York, as she had
originally planned, in order to avoid ONeill.
4.17 ONeill Rosa would also invite Jel to his apartment
in

Guaynabo

vacancy

to

allegedly

announcements;

discuss

invitations

the
that

alluded
were,

employment
likewise,

rejected by Plaintiff.
4.18 By letter of December 10, 2014, Mayor ONeill-Garca
appointed

Jel

to

the

position

of

Attorney

III,

effective

December 16, 2014, where she would earn a monthly salary of


$5,140. Mayor ONeill-Garca advised Plaintiff therein that
such position had a probationary status of twelve months, and

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 10 of 34

that once approved, she would obtain regular status in the


same.
4.19 Shortly

after

Jels

appointment

to

the

post

of

Attorney III, O'Neill told her that he had intervened in his


fathers decision to select her for that the position and that
she had to be grateful to him for that; and, that if she did
not treat him with love and passion, she would be ungrateful.
O'Neill added that he wanted to move in with Jel to give her
another son. He told Jel to give in to him; that he would
give

her

great

pleasure

with

oral

sex

and

would

get

her

addicted with so much pleasure; and, that he was crazy to


get [his] face between [her] buttocks.
4.20
that

she

After
had

January

her

job

2015,

O'Neill

because

of

repeatedly

him;

that

told

she

owed

Jel
him

everything and had to repay him; and that, if she did not give
him

everything,

including

her

ass,

many

times,

she

was

going to be taken out of the Municipality.


4.21 At all times, whenever ONeill-Rosa engaged in the
aforementioned sexual misconduct, Jel would explicitly tell
him that his verbal and physical advances were not welcomed.
Nevertheless, he would always continue his verbal and physical
advances

of

sexual

nature

towards

her,

with

the

same

frequency and persistence as before.


4.22 At
detailed

the

above

time
took

when
place,

the
the

acts

of

sexual

unwritten

harassment

policy

at

The

Municipality was that it was acceptable for Mayor ONeill-

10

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 11 of 34

Garca and his son ONeill-Rosa to engage in sexual relations


with

female

engaged

employees.

in

sexual

favorably

and

Moreover,

relations
given

the

with

better

female

them

employees

were

treated

employment

who
more

conditions,

opportunities, promotions and benefits than those who did not.


In fact, Mayor ONeill-Garca encouraged this type of conduct
by

having

consensual

intimate

relationships

with

various

subordinates, and by treating them more favorably and giving


them

better

employment

opportunities

than

other

female

employees.
4.23 Following
consensual

his

relations

fathers
with

example,

several

ONeill-Rosa

municipal

had

employees,

including his common law wife, Sandra Ramos-Merced (RamosMerced),

who

was

Deputy

Director

of

HR

and

received

preferential treatment and better job opportunities than other


female employees.
4.24 Submission

to

ONeill-Rosas

sexual

advances

was

made by The Municipality, explicitly and implicitly, a term or


condition of the employment of Jel, and the rejection of such
conduct

by

employment

her

was

decisions

used

by

The

adversely

Municipality

affecting

as

her,

basis

as

for

asserted

hereinafter.
4.25

ONeill-Rosa

constitutive
intentionally

of

sexual
and

engaged

in

harassment
maliciously,

11

the

pattern

against
with

Jel,

of

conduct

knowingly,

premeditation,

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 12 of 34

deliberation and bad faith, and with the perverse design of


obtaining sexual favors from Plaintiff.
4.26 The

frequency,

continuity

and

intensity

of

the

pattern of sexual harassment to which ONeill-Rosa submitted


Jel in the workplace unreasonably interfered with her work
performance and created an intimidating, hostile, abusive and
offensive working environment, causing her to suffer extreme
shame, embarrassment, humiliation, nervousness, anxiety, fear
and

anger

in

the

workplace.

Sometimes

ONeill-Rosas

misconduct led Plaintiff to lock herself in a bathroom stall


until she could control herself and was able return to work to
her office.
4.27 At all times relevant herein, The Municipality was
fully aware of the pattern of sexual harassment to which Jel
was subjected by ONeill-Rosa and failed to take any action or
measure

to

prevent

or

stop

such

misconduct.

Instead,

The

Municipality knowingly allowed such sexual harassment to occur


and continue unabated for a period of three years, thereby
ratifying and adopting the sexual harassment of ONeill-Rosa.
In so doing, The Municipality engaged in unlawful employment
practices,

with

gross

negligence,

malice

or

reckless

indifference to the civil rights of the Plaintiff.


B.

The Retaliatory Actions.


4.28 On several occasions, from July 2012 and until July

2015,
Hoyos

Jel

verbally

(Hoyos)

complained

Denise

to

Rodriguez

12

her

supervisors,

(Rodriguez)

Hector

and

Ana

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 13 of 34

Quintero

(Quintero)

about

the

conduct

of

O'Neill-Rosa

constitutive of sexual harassment. She also gave notice of


O'Neill-Rosas misconduct to the Chief of the Human Resources
Department (HR), Eduardo Faria (Faria). The Municipality,
however,

never

took

action,

corrective

or

otherwise,

in

connection with these complaints.


4.29 At all times, Jel verbally reported ONeill-Rosas
sexual

harassment

to

The

Municipalitys

HRs

Chief

Faria;

however, no action was taken by The Municipality.


4.30 When

Jel

complained

of

ONeill-Rosas

sexual

harassment to Hoyos, then Director of the Legal Division, he


replied
worked

to
in

her

to

be

quiet

The

Municipality

about

it

because

were

brought

everyone

there

by

who

Mayor

ONeill-Garca and his sons. Hoyos then remarked jokingly that


if he were a woman, he would also go out with one of them.
4.31 On several occasions, notwithstanding Jels prior
complaints to Hoyos about ONeill-Rosas misbehavior, Hoyos
wanted

to

send

her

to

the

NPP

Electoral

Committee

ran

by

ONeill, or summoned her to his office so that ONeill could


meet

Plaintiff

there,

to

which

she

always

refused;

these

requests were then followed by calls by ONeill telling her


that he was waiting there for her.
4.32 Because Jel refused to meet ONeill-Rosa at the NPP
Electoral Committee and Hoyos office, the latter punished her
with excessive supervision and with work overloads with the
evident intent to adversely affect the quality of her work.

13

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 14 of 34

4.33 When Rodriguez replaced Hoyos as the new head of the


Legal Division, Jel also expressed to her that O'Neill was
sexually harassing her; but Rodriguez, likewise, ignored her.
4.34 During the week of July 6-10, 2015, Jel complained
to Quintero, current Director of the Legal Division, about
O'Neills sexual harassment. Quinteros response was that she
knew the Cano (O'Neills nickname) and that she would want
him to notice her; that she had raised the sons of Mayor
ONeill-Garca and that Jel was not even much of a woman for
any of them; and that, if Jel did not like her job, she
should better go to work in a whorehouse.
4.35 On July 13, 2015, Jel submitted a written sexual
harassment complaint to the Vice-Mayor Aurialis Lozada, who at
the time served as Acting Mayor since Mayor ONeill-Garca was
out of the jurisdiction. Jel did not go to HR to lodge the
complaint because the then Acting Director of that office was
Ramos-Merced, ONeill-Garcas common-law wife and mother of
his five children.
4.36 As

result

of

having

complained

of

sexual

harassment in writing, Jel immediately began to be victim of


retaliation

in

the

modality

of

hostile

work

environment,

consisting of, inter alia, threats and intimidation by her


supervisor Quintero. In fact, immediately after the submission
of this complaint, Quintero told Jel that The Municipality
would

mark

her

with

an

--

black-listing

her

complaining of sexual harassment by the Mayors son.

14

--

for

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 15 of 34

4.37 After

the

lodging

of

the

sexual

harassment

complaint, Quintero began to utter intimidating comments about


death and witchcraft to Jel; and did so repeatedly. Quintero,
for example, told Jel that:
a) she knew people who take the dead out from their
graves and do witchcraft;
b) in this island, they kill someone for anything;
c) from her prior work as prosecutor, she knows all the
whorehouses
here
and
also
people
from
the
underground who kill anyone for anything, even if
the victim wears a bulletproof vest because they
shoot the victim in the head;
d) she used to visit the morgue and saw there how body
bags were opened and also a machine grinding the
dead; and,
e) because of her experiences with contract killers,
whores, death and witchcraft, she was very tough.
4.38 Quinteros

repertoire

of

intimidating

remarks

and

comments also included threats to Jel to the effect that she


was going to professionally and personally hurt Plaintiff by,
for example, arranging an audit of her entire working area
because she (Quintero) had been an assistant attorney for the
comptroller and knew how to find inaccuracies and successfully
prosecute people, adding that in these audit processes one
person had even died.
4.39 Also

after

the

presentation

of

the

complaint

of

sexual harassment, Quintero began to continuously denigrate


Jel professionally. Further, Quintero stripped Jel of her
job duty to attend Court.

15

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 16 of 34

4.40 Due to The Municipalitys failure to take immediate


corrective

measures

to

stop

the

harassment

and

to

its

retaliatory acts, Plaintiff filed charges of sexual harassment


and retaliation against The Municipality and O'Neill Garca
with the EEOC on July 30, 2015.
4.41 After

Jel

retaliation

charge

retaliatory

actions

severity.

The

filed
with

against

Municipality

her

the
her

sexual

EEOC,

The

escalated

showed,

harassment

through

and

Municipalitys

in

frequency

the

actions

and
and

omissions of its managerial employees, its malicious intent to


harm Jel, personally and professionally, for the reason that
she had complained of the sexual harassment by the son of
Mayor O'Neill Garca. Some examples follow:
a) Whenever Quintero saw that Jel -- with much
sacrifice and making an extraordinary effort so that
the quality of her job would not be affected -completed her work, Quintero would unjustifiably
reject
and
return
the
writings
to
her
as
unacceptable, on the basis of insignificant minutiae
or minor details.
b) Quintero instructed Jel to perform work that did
not meet law requirements to induce her to make
mistakes or incur in errors, work that Jel did not
perform and, instead, returned to Quintero for such
reason;
c) Quintero subjected Jel to excessive and exaggerated
supervision in the employment;
d) Quintero harshly criticized and belittled the work
Jel performed;
e) Quintero took away Jels duties;
f) Quintero,
constantly
inappropriate comments
emotionally;

16

and
intentionally,
made
to Jel that affected her

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 17 of 34

g) Quintero excluded Jel from departmental meetings;


h) Jel
was
ostracized
and
marginalized
supervisor and co-workers; and,

by

her

i) Jel
was
continuously
followed,
watched,
and
photographed by private investigators hired by The
Municipality, as she entered and left work and her
residence, and visted public and commercial places
she used to attend.
4.42 As result of the aforementioned harassment, threats,
intimidating remarks, stalking and surveillance, Jel came to
fear for her safety and that of her son.
4.43

Although

Jel

repeatedly

expressed

to

The

Municipality that she was being sexually harassed by ONeillRosa,

and

albeit

she

exhausted

all

internal

and

external

administrative remedies for the presentation and channeling of


her complaint, The Municipality ignored her complaints by not
taking any remedial action.
4.44 When Jel complained in writing of ONeill-Rosas
sexual harassment, The Municipality hired Atty. Miguel RomeroLugo (Romero-Lugo) a close friend of Mayor ONeill-Garca,
to conduct an investigation into Jels complaint against his
son. After conducting such investigation, Romero-Lugo rendered
his report on this matter on October 29, 2015.
4.45

Romero-Lugo,

investigator

and

judge,

acting

in

tailored

the
this

dual
report

capacity
to

suit

of
the

interests of the Mayor by acquitting his son of the imputed


sexual harassment. More specifically, Romero-Lugo, arbitrarily
and ignoring essential parts of Jels testimony, found that
her version did not deserve any credibility, in order to then

17

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 18 of 34

conclude that her complaint had no basis. In so concluding,


Romero-Lugo
evidence

ignored

that

uncontested

Plaintiff

submitted

corroborating
to

him,

material

consisting

in

Plaintiffs cellular phones, which had registered persistent


texts and oral messages sent by ONeill-Rosa, some at odd
hours (late at nights and early in the mournings), seeking
sexual favors from her and which were not answered by her.
4.46 The

Municipalitys

decision

to

ignore

Jels

multiple complaints of sexual harassment, coupled with RomeroLugos

finding

emboldened

that

such

O'Neill-Rosa

to

testimony
continue

was
his

not

credible,

misconduct

with

impunity. Further, Romero-Lugos opinion that Jels complaint


was baseless paved the way for her constructive discharge.
4.47 Shortly after Romero-Lugo rendered his report, The
Municipality, maliciuosly and in flagrant violation of its and
federal

regulations

harassment

complaints,

on

the

confidentiality

leaked

and

disclosed

on

sexual

Romero-Lugos

investigation and findings to other employees at City Hall,


causing Jel to be marginalized and subjected to continuous
mobbing and bullying by co-workers.
4.48 On December 15, 2015, Quintero summoned Jel to the
conference room of the Legal Division and, unexpectedly and
surprisingly,
evaluations

showed
of

Plaintiff

Plaintiffs

several

work

purported

performance

monthly

during

her

probationary period. Quintero also told Jel that she was then
recommending The Municipality, in a memorandum accompanying

18

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 19 of 34

the

evaluations,

to

separate

her

from

her

employment,

allegedly for not having passed the probationary period of the


post of Attorney III under her supervision.
4.49 During the December 15 meeting, Jel indicated to
Quintero that she did not agree with her decision and objected
to the evaluation process as a whole. Quintero did not discuss
and refused to furnish to Jel the evaluations for her review;
instead, she told Plaintiff that all evaluations were deemed
read

and

discussed.

At

all

times

during

this

meeting,

Quinteros behavior towards Jel was humiliating and hostile.


4.50 By letter dated January 14, 2016, and addressed to
the

Municipal

Administrator,

Ricardo

Dalmau

Santana,

Jel

objected to the process of evaluation of her job performance


carried out by Quintero, on grounds that it was flawed and
illegal because it clearly infringed the Act of Autonomous
Municipalities of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as
The

Municipalitys

own

Personnel

Regulations

for

Career

Service (henceforth Personnel Regulations) and Regulations


for

the

Evaluation

Evaluation

and

Motivation

Regulations).

Jel

of

Employees

therein

(henceforth

requested

The

Municipality to approve her probationary period in the post of


Attorney III as The Municipality had failed to comply with its
responsibility under the law and its regulations.
4.51 On January 19, 2016, the then Acting Director of HR,
Terilyn Sastre (Sastre), wrote to Jel that the objections
set forth in her January 14 letter were to be considered as a

19

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 20 of 34

request for reconsideration of the evaluations in question and


summoned

Plaintiff

to

hearing

before

the

Reconsideration

Committee, wherein Sastre was a member, to be held on February


3, 2016.
4.52 On

February

11,

2016,

Jel

replied

to

Sastres

letter of January 19, stating that Quinteros recommendation


stemmed from her complaint of sexual harassment against the
Mayors son, and noting that Sastre had full knowledge of this
complaint

because

Sastre

had

given

sworn

statement

to

Romero-Lugo in the course of his investigation.


4.53 Jel objected in her February 11 missive to the
scheduled

hearing

before

the

Reconsideration

Committee,

on

grounds that it was unwarranted because The Municipality: (a)


failed to follow the evaluation process established in the
Evaluation

Regulations,

from

its

inception

and

at

all

its

stages up to the end (Articles 1 through 18), including the


guidelines,

criteria,

forms

and

certifications

provided

as

attachments to such regulations; (b) failed to comply with the


Personnel

Regulations

selection

of

and,

breached

(c)

employees
the

on
on

the

process

probationary

Personnel

for

recruitment

period

Regulations

and

(Article

7);

provision

for

retention and security in the employment (Article 9).


4.54 The alluded regulations require monthly evaluations
that the supervisor must discuss with the employee; and before
each evaluation date, the supervisor is required to agree on a
date

with

the

employee

to

20

schedule

the

next

monthly

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 21 of 34

evaluation.

This

affords

the

employee

the

opportunity

to

demonstrate that he/she fulfilled his/her duties and complied


with the action plan drawn in the evaluation of the previous
month.

The

evaluations

are

meant

to

motivate

employees

to

adapt to the functions of the new position held. Certainly,


the evaluations should not be used as an instrument to harm
the employee in retaliation for engaging in protected conduct,
as it happened in this case.
4.55

Jel

explained

in

her

February

11

letter

that

Quintero had breached the aforementioned regulations because


her supervisor did not evaluate her performance on a monthly
basis; failed to discuss with her the duties of her post; and,
did

not

complete

the

requisite

certification

of

the

first

phase of the evaluation provided in the attachments to the


Evaluation

Regulations.

Rather,

Quintero,

without

prior

notice, summoned Jel to a meeting on the last day of her


probationary

period

and

showed

her

all

of

the

monthly

evaluations she made at the last minute (including for tasks


Plaintiff did not and was not supposed to perform), when she
should have render them monthly, during all previous months.
Upon Jels questioning on the irregular manner in which the
evaluation process had been conducted, Quintero told Jel that
she had forfeited the right to be evaluated monthly and to
know

the

content

of

each

evaluation

month

by

complaining of sexual harassment by the Mayors son.

21

month

by

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 22 of 34

4.56 The reconsideration mentioned in the regulations is


to be requested after a monthly evaluation, not as to all
monthly

evaluations

completely

failed

at

to

once,

comply

when
with

the
the

supervisor
evaluation

has

process.

Herein, Quintero untimely furnished to Jel all of the monthly


evaluations

at

attempt

create

to

the

eleventh
the

hour,

appearance

in
of

failed

and

compliance

unjust

with

an

evaluation process that had been flawed and vitiated since its
inception.
4.57

For

Municipality

the

in

determination

her

on

her

foregoing

reason,

February
status

11
as

an

Jel

letter

to

employee,

requested
make

since

The
final

it

had

already extended her probationary period without justification


and in violation of its own regulations, causing her to suffer
anguish, anxiety and uncertainty about her job situation.
4.58 On or about February 10, 2016, while these events
were unfolding, ONeill-Rosa filed a complaint against Jel
with the Superior Court of Guaynabo, Civ. No. D2P22016-0005
(Courtroom

202)

for

abuse

of

process,

alleging

that

Jel

falsely complained of being sexually harassed by him to The


Municipality on July 13, 2015, and to the EEOC on July 30,
2015; and, claiming damages to his reputation stemming from
these complaints, including the rupture of his relation with
his

common-law

wife,

Ramos-Merced.

In

order

to

attempt

to

provide some basis for this frivolous claim (maliciously or


negligently ignoring that Jel engaged in protected conduct

22

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 23 of 34

when

she

presented

her

charges

against

him),

ONeill-Rosa

alleged in his complaint: that he and Jel had engaged in an


intimate

and

extremely

sporadic

intimate

relation

which

never had the character of a formal relation of a couple,


from 2012 and up to the end of 2014, when she worked as an
attorney

for

The

Municipality;

that

Romero-Lugo

had

investigated her sexual harassment complaint and concluded


that [the sexual harassment] alleged by [Jel] did not occur
and that in the absence of any evidence to prove the existence
of

sexual

harassment

...,

[Romero-Lugo]

dismissal

of

the

complaint;

disregard

to

the

truth,

and

that

implicated

recommended

[Jel],

[him]

in

with

the
utter

pattern

of

sexual harassment against her that she was not able to prove.
4.59 On
Lozada-Centeno

February

18,

2016,

the

(Lozada-Centeno)

Vice-Mayor,

notified

Aurializ

Jel

that

The

Municipality extend her probationary period for the position


of Attorney for six additional months and that during such
term her job performance would be evaluated in conformity with
the Evaluation Regulations.
4.60 On February 29, 2016, Jel objected in writing to
The

Municipalitys

decision

to

further

extend

the

one-year

probationary period, which she had competed in excess of two


months,

from

December

18,

2014

to

February

18,

2014,

on

grounds that it was discriminatory, arbitrary and illegal. The


proposed

six-month

extension

would

yield

year

and

eight

months of probation, in contravention of Article 7 of the

23

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 24 of 34

Personnel

Regulations

that

provides

that

the

probationary

period shall not exceed twelve months and that it cannot be


extended. In light thereof, Jel expressed in her reply to
Lozada-Centeno that she did not accept the proposed extension.
4.61 By letter of March 7, 2016, Lozada-Centeno notified
Jel that The Municipality reaffirmed its decision to extend
her probationary period for six additional months because the
period

of

six

considered

to

months
make

contested
a

by

decision

Plaintiff

on

the

would

approval

not
of

be
the

probationary period required by the position she occupied.


4.62 On

March

28,

2016,

Jel

submitted

her

letter

of

resignation to Lozada-Centeno because all of the conditions


and

circumstances

constitutive

of

sexual

harassment

and

retaliation, as well as other rigorous terms of employment, to


which

The

hostile,

Municipality
offensive,

had

subjected

intimidating,

her,

had

abusive,

created

unbearable

and

intolerable work environment. Such conduct of The Municipality


had

caused

her

much

anxiety,

depression,

humiliation

and

frustration, as well as uncertainty and insecurity about her


job situation. All of these incidents had adversely affected
her health, physically and emotionally, to the point where she
was

ill

and

exhausted,

under

psychiatric

treatment

and

medications; and, individually and cumulatively, forced Jels


decision

to

resign

from

her

employment

deterioration of her mental health.

24

to

avoid

further

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 25 of 34

4.63 Anew, Jel reiterated in her resignation letter that


the proposed six-month extension of her probationary period
was

totally

unreasonable,

unacceptable
burdensome

and

for

being

illegal.

She

discriminatory,
also

emphasized

that, since The Municipality had given no credence to her


complaints,

she

felt

completely

vulnerable

and

unprotected

against the perverse and relentless conduct of ONeill-Rosa;


and that the flawed and biased finding of mendacity made by
Romero-Lugo in his investigative report had caused ONeillRosa to enhance his attacks against her for having rejected
him and reported his misconduct. Jel also underscored in her
letter that the Municipality had shown, through the actions of
its managerial employees summarized in her letter, that it had
the

malicious

intent

to

harm

her,

personally

and

professionally, for having complained about the misconduct of


the son of Mayor O'Neill-Garca.
4.64 Additionally, Jel expressed in her March 28 letter
that at the time, she was absent under extended medical leave
and her treating physicians had recommended her to stay away
from

the

hostile

work

environment

to

protect

her

mental

health. However, The Municipality kept questioning the medical


leave

of

absence

and

exerting

undue

pressure

upon

both

Plaintiff and her psychiatrist by requiring an exact return


date, to what her psychiatrist had indicated that he could not
responsibly determine an exact date in which Plaintiff could

25

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 26 of 34

recover

enough

to

return

to

work

because

of

the

fragile

condition of her mental health.


4.65 The Municipality used Jels rejection of ONeillRosas misconduct as basis for employment decisions adversely
affecting

her.

employees,

The

Municipality,

subjected

retaliatory

Jel

to

through
a

hostile-work-environment

its

severe

agents

and

harassment

and

pervasive
and

other

retaliatory acts for having complained of sexual harassment.


These acts, individually and collectively, had the effect or
purpose of unreasonably interfering with her work performance
and creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive and abusive
environment,

thereby

embarrassment,

causing

humiliation,

her

to

suffer

nervousness,

extreme

anxiety,

shame,

fear

and

anger in the workplace; and, ultimately, forced her into a


constructive

discharge.

The

Municipality

engaged

in

such

unlawful employment practices with gross negligence, malice or


reckless indifference to the civil rights of Plaintiff.
V. Causes of Action
First Cause of Action:
5.1

Plaintiff repeats and reasserts by reference each

and every allegation contained the preceding paragraphs and


incorporates the same herein as though fully set forth.
5.2

The

Municipality

discriminated

against

Jel

with

respect to her terms, conditions and privileges of employment


because of her sex, in violation of Title VII.

26

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 27 of 34

5.3

As a direct result of the aforementioned unlawful

employment
continue

practices,

to

suffer

Jel

severe

suffered,
mental,

is

suffering

psychological,

and

will

moral

and

emotional pain, anguish and distress, and has sustained a loss


of

happiness,

professional

loss

of

endeavors,

the

capacity

diminishment

to
of

enjoy
the

life

and

capacity

to

love, and an impairment of the capacity to perform activities


common to a woman of her age and sex. Plaintiff is entitled to
receive a just and fair compensation for these damages.
5.4

As

consequence

of

the

aforementioned

unlawful

employment practices and the resultant mental damages suffered


by Plaintiff, she has been and will continue to be in the
future under psychiatric treatment and medications. She has
incurred and will continue to incur in the future in expenses
for said psychiatric treatment and medications. Plaintiff is
entitled to receive a reasonable amount of money for these
medical expenses.
5.5
unlawful
sustain

Also

as

employment
a

loss

of

direct

result

of

Jel

has

practices,
earnings

and

The

Municipalitys

sustained

employment

and

benefits.

will
The

Municipality is liable to Jel for the loss of past and future


pay and benefits caused by its violation of Title VII.
5.6

Pursuant to Title VII, Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal

Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C.S. 1920, Plaintiff is


entitled to be awarded the costs to be incurred in this suit,
plus reasonable attorneys fees.

27

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 28 of 34

THEREFORE, Jel demands that Judgment be entered in her


favor and against The Municipality, granting her: the amount
of

THREE

HUNDRED

THOUSAND

DOLLARS

($300,000.00)

in

compensatory damages; an award for back and future pay and


loss of employment benefits; an award for medical and other
analogous expenses, reasonably estimated at this time in the
amount of ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS
($150,000.00); a reasonable amount for attorneys fees, the
costs of this action, and post-judgment interests; and, such
other further relief that under the circumstances may seem
appropriate to this Honorable Court.
Second Cause of Action:
5.7

Plaintiff repeats and reasserts by reference each

and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs and


incorporates the same herein as though fully set forth.
5.8

The

Municipality

employment

and

retaliation

for

otherwise
having

constructively
discriminated

complained

of

discharged
against

sexual

from

Jel

harassment,

in
in

violation of Title VII.


5.9

As a direct result of the aforementioned retaliatory

discharge, Jel suffered, is suffering and will continue to


suffer severe mental, psychological, moral and emotional pain,
anguish and distress, and has sustained a loss of happiness, a
loss of the capacity to enjoy life and professional endeavors,
a diminishment of the capacity to love, and an impairment of
the capacity to perform activities common to a woman of her

28

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 29 of 34

age and sex. Jel is entitled to receive a just and fair


compensation for these damages.
5.10

As

consequence

of

the

aforementioned

unlawful

employment practices and the resultant mental damages suffered


by Plaintiff, she has been and will continue to be in the
future under psychiatric treatment and medications. She has
incurred and will continue to incur in the future in expenses
for said psychiatric treatment and medications. Plaintiff is
entitled to receive a reasonable amount of money for these
medical expenses.
5.11 Also
unlawful
sustain

as

employment
a

loss

of

direct

result

of

Jel

has

practices,
earnings

and

The

Municipalitys

sustained

employment

and

benefits.

will
The

Municipality is liable to Plaintiff for the loss of past and


future pay and benefits caused by its violation of Title VII.
5.12 Pursuant to Title VII, Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C.S. 1920, Plaintiff is
entitled to be awarded the costs to be incurred in this suit,
plus reasonable attorneys fees.
THEREFORE, Jel demands that Judgment be entered in her
favor and against The Municipality, granting her: the amount
of

THREE

HUNDRED

THOUSAND

DOLLARS

($300,000.00)

in

compensatory damages; an award for back and future pay and


loss of employment benefits; an award for medical and other
analogous expenses, reasonably estimated at this time in the
amount

of

ONE

HUNDRED

AND

29

FIFTY

THOUSAND

DOLLARS

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 30 of 34

($150,000.00); a reasonable amount for attorneys fees, the


costs of this action, and post-judgment interests; and, such
other further relief that under the circumstances may seem
appropriate to this Honorable Court.
Third Cause of Action:
5.13 Plaintiff repeats and reasserts by reference each
and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs and
incorporates the same herein as though fully set forth.
5.14 This Third Cause of Action arises under Act 17, Act
100 and Act 69.
5.15 The
discharged
respect

Municipality

and

to

otherwise

the

terms,

unlawfully

discriminated
conditions

and

constructively

against

Jel

privileges

with

of

her

employment because of her sex, in violation of Act 17, Act 100


and Act 69.
5.16 As a direct result of the aforementioned unlawful
employment
continue

practices,

to

suffer

Jel

severe

suffered,
mental,

is

suffering

psychological,

and

will

moral

and

emotional pain, anguish and distress, and has sustained a loss


of

happiness,

professional
love,

and

loss

endeavors,

an

of
a

impairment

the

capacity

diminishment
of

the

to
of

capacity

enjoy
the
to

life

capacity
perform

and
to
the

activities common to a woman of her age and sex. Jel is


entitled to receive a full, just and fair compensation for her
mental damages which, pursuant to Act 17, Act 100 and Act 69,

30

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 31 of 34

consists in the twofold amount of the actual damages suffered


by her.
5.17

As

consequence

of

the

aforementioned

unlawful

employment practices and the resultant mental damages suffered


by Plaintiff, she has been and will continue to be in the
future under psychiatric treatment and medications. She has
incurred and will continue to incur in the future in expenses
for said psychiatric treatment and medications. Plaintiff is
entitled to receive a reasonable amount of money for these
medical expenses.
5.18 Also

as

direct

result

of

the

The

Municipality

discriminatory and retaliatory discharge, Jel lost and will


lose

earnings

and

employment

earnings.

The

Municipality

is

liable to Plaintiff for the loss of past and future pay and
benefits.
5.19

Pursuant to Act 17 and Rule 44 of the Puerto Rico

Rules of Civil Procedure, Jel is entitled to be awarded the


costs to be incurred in this suit, plus reasonable attorneys
fees.
THEREFORE, Jel demands that Judgment be entered in her
favor and against The Municipality, granting her: the amount
of THREE MILLION DOLLARS ($3,000,000.00) for mental damages
doubling

such

amount

for

total

of

SIX

MILLION

DOLLARS

($6,000,000.00); an award for back and future pay and loss of


employment

benefits;

an

award

for

medical

other

analogue

expenses, reasonably estimated at this time in the amount of

31

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 32 of 34

ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($150,000.00); a reasonable


amount for attorneys fees, the costs of this action, and
post-judgment interests; and, such other further relief that
under the circumstances may seem appropriate to this Honorable
Court.
Fourth Cause of Action:
5.20 Plaintiff repeats and reasserts by reference each
and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs and
incorporates the same herein as though fully set forth.
5.21 This Fourth Cause of Action arises under the General
Tort statute.
5.22 The Municipality and ONeill Rosa caused Jel to be
subjected to assault, battery, breach of the peace, stalking,
threats, defamation, undue intrusions into her private life,
character
reputation,

assassination
in

violation

and

attacks

of

her

to

her

professional

constitutional

right

to

privacy and dignity, as well as other extreme and outrageous


conduct, with the intent to cause, or reckless disregard of
the

probability

of

causing,

Plaintiff

to

suffer

emotional

distress.
5.23 The foregoing conduct caused Jel to suffer severe
mental, psychological, moral and emotional pain, anguish and
distress; and, to sustain a loss of happiness and the capacity
to enjoy life and enjoy professional endeavors, a diminishment
of the capacity to love, and an impairment of the capacity to
perform the activities common to a woman of her age and sex.

32

Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 33 of 34

5.24 Jel is entitled to receive a full, just and fair


compensation for the aforestated mental damages, in an amount
reasonably estimated to be no less than THREE MILLION DOLLARS
($3,000,000.00).
5.25 As a consequence of the aforementioned intentional
acts and the resultant mental damages suffered by Plaintiff,
she has been and will continue to be in the future under
psychiatric treatment and medications. She has incurred and
will continue to incur in the future in expenses for said
psychiatric treatment and medications. Plaintiff is entitled
to receive a reasonable amount of money for these medical
expenses.
5.26 In the event The Municipality and ONeill Rosa deny
responsibility for the damages claimed herein, pursuant the
provisions of Rule 44 of the Rules of Civil Procedure of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Plaintiff would also be entitled
to an award of pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, to be
computed from the amount finally adjudged to Plaintiff, plus a
reasonable amount for attorneys fees, due to such obstinate
and temerarious denial.
THEREFORE, Jel demands that Judgment be entered in her
favor and against The Municipality and ONeill Rosa, granting
her reasonable compensatory damages in an amount no less than
THREE MILLION DOLLARS ($3,000,000.00); awarding her an amount
for medical and other analogue expenses, reasonably estimated
at this time in the amount of ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND SEVEN

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Case 3:16-cv-01585-ADC Document 1 Filed 03/31/16 Page 34 of 34

HUNDRED

DOLLARS

($150,000.00);

awarding

her

reasonable

amount for attorneys fees, the costs of this action, and prejudgment and post-judgment interests; and, granting such other
further

relief

that

under

the

circumstances

may

seem

appropriate to this Honorable Court.


VI.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully requested that Judgment be


entered by this Honorable Court in favor of Plaintiff and
against Defendants:
a.

granting

Plaintiff

all

the

sums

and

remedies

requested in the complaint;


b.

imposing upon Defendants the payment of all costs and

expenses to be incurred in this lawsuit;


c.

granting Plaintiff any other relief that she may be

entitled to as a matter of law; and,


d.

awarding

Plaintiff

pre-judgment

and

post-judgment

interests, plus a reasonable amount for attorneys fees.


RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, this
31st day of March, 2016.
S/Jos F. Quetglas Jordn
USDC-PR #203411
QUETGLAS LAW FIRM, P.S.C.
1353, Luis Vigoreaux Ave.
PMB 657
Guaynabo, PR 00966
Tel:(787) 406-8915
Email: jfquetglas@gmail.com;
quetglaslawpsc@gmail.com

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